Council agrees to spring BID ballot as scheme hopes to boost town's tourism
PUBLISHED: 13:00 24 February 2018
Plans for a business improvement district (BID) in Clevedon have moved a step closer after North Somerset Council agreed to organise a ballot.
The BID is aiming to raise £500,000 over five years to attract more visitors to the town’s seafront, town centre and Hill Road areas.
It would see around 240 businesses pay a two per cent levy on the rateable value of their premises, providing an annual fund of around £110,000.
Extensive consultation was carried out last year among businesses with the majority backing a BID and organisers are hoping to put the proposals to a vote in April.
North Somerset Council has agreed to fund and organise the ballot on behalf of the BID steering group while it will also collect the additional business rate levy if the plans are approved by voters.
MORE: Businesses back BID plans
Councillor David Pasley, executive member for the council’s capital programme, said in his decision notice: “If there is a yes vote then all businesses have to pay regardless of whether they voted no or didn’t vote at all.
“The legislation is designed this way to ensure that as all businesses in the area benefit from the BID so all should pay.
“As the billing authority, in line with the BID regulations, it is the statutory responsibility of the local authority to conduct a ballot of local businesses and collect the BID levy from businesses in the BID area, if a ballot is positive.
“The BID levy will be on 240 business premises and land within the BID area to be paid across to the Clevedon BID which would oversee activity identified in the BID business plan.
“If successful the BID would run for five years after which the business community would be consulted, a new BID business plan would be written and a ballot would be held to determine if it is to continue.”
Enhancements the BID is aiming to make to Clevedon include setting up a creative hub, improving parking and remodelling Queens Square.
It also wants to make it easier for people to travel between Clevedon’s three main retail areas, potentially through a tuk-tuk scheme, and upgrade the town’s appearance through green spaces.
A similar scheme is run in Weston.